The verdict is in, and Google Maps is the winner.
After releasing to the masses Wednesday night, Google not only released a great maps app, which does include turn-by-turn directions, but they also embarrassed Apple. I mean no insult toward Apple, but how can you have a popular maps app, when you don’t have a robust search engine to back it up. A partnership with Google could have been smarter.
Google Maps isn’t just a native application. Google has also released an iOS SDK, which will allow developers to use Google Maps in their applications, rather than Apple Maps.
After Apple ditched Google Maps this fall when they released iOS 6, all native applications automatically switched to the Apple Maps SDK.
Apple Maps have been ridiculed for poor location services, lack of information and poorly drawn landmarks in some areas.
The turn-by-turn directions via Siri and the Maps app do work quite well, but Google could change that with its turn-by-turn technology. It’s already a winner because it supports iOS 5.1 and up, along with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. To use Apple Maps, you obviously need iOS 6, and an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5.
One interesting component of Apple Maps, which does work well in major cities, is the ability to swipe down and give a more 3D look. Google copied this motion and brought it to their maps.
The New York Times’ David Pogue rattled off some highlights of the free app, but he lays out what makes the app so good pretty simply:
So the first great thing about Google’s new Maps is the underlying data. Hundreds of Google employees have spent years hand-editing the maps, fixing the thousands of errors that people report every day. (In the new app, you report a mistake just by shaking the phone.) And since 2006, Google’s Street View vehicles have trawled 3,000 cities, photographing and confirming the cartographical accuracy of five million miles of roads.
And he’s right. Until Apple can collect as much data as Google, they’ll never come close with their app.
An iPad version of Google Maps is coming soon, according to multiple sources.
What’s your opinion on Google Maps?